This is a video you need to watch.
Tuesday night, there was a board meeting for the Cranston School Committee. But instead of focusing on things like the budget, the meeting centered around the banner that Judge Ronald R. Lagueux ordered removed last week.
You could point to a lot of ignorant people who spoke out in favor of appealing the ruling. You could *facepsalm* at the 200+ religious people who sang religious songs and recited the Lord’s Prayer before the meeting began.
But there were a few sensible voices amidst all the chaos.
Watch this video and you’ll see and hear some of them:
The first young lady is 16-year-old Taylor Grenga, a fellow Cranston High School West student. She calmly explains that while the Prayer Banner had a positive message, it didn’t belong in the school. She also points out that a secular version of the school’s creed already hangs in the auditorium, so there’s no need for a religious version.
And then she’s booed.
Really. They are booing a 16-year-old for telling the truth. Adults! Human adults!
The next voice is that of Superintendent Peter Nero. He chastises the adults in the room for behaving so poorly. You can tell he’s ashamed by the behavior exhibited in the room. Good for him for calling them out on it.
Finally, you hear Jessica Ahlquist. The fact that she was willing to show up and speak at a meeting full of people who think the absolute worst of her is a testament to her courage.
She urges the school board not to appeal the ruling and then gives the audience a wonderful history lesson.
With community members and even local politicians acting in jaw-droppingly immature and despicable ways, don’t forget that there are other brave people out there (like Taylor) who are willing to stand up for what’s right, even if it’s not popular.
If the adults in that room had the same levels of maturity and brainpower as Jessica and Taylor, then maybe they could escape from this controversy without egg in their face. But it’s too late for that. Thankfully, we have some strong students to teach the adults how to do it right.